Elle’s Edit: How To Properly Train For a Half Marathon

Two weeks from now I will have another half marathon under my belt!

If you’ve been on Elle’s Edit for a while or follow me on Instagram, you know I tend to b*tch about running and that the NYC half is on March 15th. Last year I ran my first half marathon, survived, and have learned a lot ever since. When I ran the half marathon last year I never ran more than 5K in my entire life so it was definitely a daunting process. I got severely injured and had issues throughout the whole training program. This year I was going into it with confidence because I ran the course last year and knew that I could do it. The one thing that was missing was not being able to run it with my good friend. She decided to not enter the lottery this year (yes there is a lottery and I believe only 40% get accepted) because the training program is just long and takes up so much of your time. Life has been extremely stressful this year between health issues and work so I actually enjoyed running to get my mind of life. It was “me” time and made it easier for me to realize I didn’t have a friend to go through this pain, I mean journey, with. I wanted to round up a couple of things that I have learned over the year incase running a half marathon is on your bucket list.

The training is a long process. The training program I did the first go around was 10 weeks and this year I extended it to 12 weeks. I have to say the first time around I wish I gave myself more time as I never ran more than a 5K before and I got injured along the way. I was increasing my miles too quickly and developed shin splints and ultimately stress fractures at the end of the race. This year I extended it to 12 which I’m glad I did because I was able to ease my body into it and it was much more manageable.

Make sure you train during the week. I’m fortunate that for both years I was in decent shape, I go to the gym regularly, go to Soul Cycle, do different types of workouts so my endurance has been pretty good. If it wasn’t I don’t think I would be able to do this in only 10-12 weeks. If you think about it, that is THREE months of a year you are training. You have to do your long runs (I do them on Sundays) and then you also need to be running during the week. Usual training programs make you run 2-3x during the week but if I’m being honest with you this year I only did my long runs. I’m not sure how my body was okay with that (knock of wood, I’m not injured) while making better time. It has to be because I do different types of workouts but who knows. I haven’t had time during the week to dedicate time to run on my own. I would find it so difficult to get my ass to the gym in the morning or after work (if possible) to run on my own. I am a gym class junkie through and through but on my own? Forget about it. If you are running a half marathon, promise me, you will run during the week!

You have to fuel your body. This means drinking water and actually eating carbs. When you are running 10 miles in one day that is so much on your body. You need to fuel your body with nutrients to bring it back to life. This helps with your recovery and prevents you from getting injured.

Invest in the right sneakers. This is by far the most important thing. Go to the running store and invest in GOOD quality sneakers. They will be more expensive but trust me, it is always worth it. Also, go half a size up. I did not do this the first time and boy did I regret it. I would always say my toes hurt and after the half I actually lost all my toenails. Disgusting I know, but it was because my shoes were too tight. They felt normal since they were my normal size but when you think about running your feet swell and they also pound to the top of your shoe.

Be proud of yourself. I try to remind myself this every now and then. Not everyone can run a half marathon. I’m proud of myself for pushing my mind and thanking my body for being able to do so. I’m grateful for my legs and the ability to run as I know there are many people who aren’t that lucky.

Have you ever ran a half marathon?

Thanks for reading Elle’s Edit. If you have any topics that you would like for me to discuss, feel free to email me at elizabeth.lane.dooley@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you! xo

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